Graza and Aura Bora’s Olive Oil Martini Is A Collab We Can Get Behind
by Chloe Gordon on 09/19/2023 | 3 Minute Read
In the world of marketing and branding, collaborations often bring a breath of fresh air to brands, both established and start-up. These partnerships can be a strategic move to expand product lines, reach new audiences, or infuse creativity into a product.
Olive oil has always been a popular kitchen staple, but it's yet to wiggle its way into a non-alcoholic beverage Now, it’s officially made its way to the booze-free space courtesy of Aura Bora and Graza for the first of its kind Olive Oil Martini. Dubbed Dry Guys, the canned non-alcoholic offering artfully blends Aura Bora's sparkling water and Graza's Extra Virgin Picual Olive Oil.
"We've been hesitant to do partnerships. I've been worried about watering down the brand. Sometimes, it confuses people about your product offerings if you take on too many," shares Maddie Voge, creative director of Aura Bora. "In the four years since we started Aura Bora, we've probably turned down hundreds of requests. Even with awesome brands, we didn't feel established enough. But Graza was the perfect fit. So this is the first partnership we've ever done."
Voge, along with Aura Bora's in-house designer Jesse Howell, wonderfully merged the distinct visual identities of the brands to create a design that represents them seamlessly. "Graza cares a lot about the same things we do. They have really thoughtful branding and a sweet, illustrative world," shares Voge. "Outside of branding, they care a lot about where they source their ingredients. They care a lot about quality. So it felt like a good fit."
One of their first challenges was finding common ground between the two brands. "It was important to all of us to feel like both brands came through. So, if you were familiar with Graza but not with Aura Bora, you could see it and recognize Graza and vice versa," shares Voge. "The first decision we made was taking Graza's well-known green olive-y colors and using them as our base because Aura Bora has a vibrant, giant palette, but Graza is super specific." The designers anchored the design with Graza's verdant hues, providing a solid base for their work.
Next came character creation, as they wanted an image that captured the essence of the olive oil Martini. "The next step was to build an illustration style that met somewhere in the middle. So, the stroke weight is more on the Graza side of things," Voge continues. "The eyeballs are more on the Aura Bora side of things. Creating our character took numerous iterations, from adding arms and legs to experimenting with facial expressions." The breakthrough came with "Dry Guy," a character sitting regally with a Martini in hand, a smirk on his face, departing from an olive's basic green circle, which also doubles as the name for the non-alcoholic cocktail.
The typography played a crucial role in the design, too. The design features custom hand-drawn lettering, combining both brands' organic and sophisticated elements. Voge comments, "Dry Guys is the biggest new typeface we're using, and that's a custom hand-drawn illustration by our in-house illustrator, Jesse. And we liked the contrast of Aura Bora's Angular, really sharp logo with this looping organic, again, a little bit ironic sophistication."
While olive oil has been a secret ingredient of mixologists the world over for the past few years, it's refreshing to see it cross over into the land of zero-proof beverages. And while we could take a can of Polar and mix it with some olive oil sitting by the stove, we're grateful that Aura Bora and Graza have already done it for us.